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Painting Across the Texas Landscape - Book Report/Review Example

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Painting Across the Texas Landscape

The essay "Painting Across the Texas Landscape" explores the Edward Eisenlohr landscapes. By looking at art that shows the area we live in as it used to be, it is easier to see why we need to appreciate what we have around us. Even though we might think that rock over there will be there forever, browsing through Eisenlohr's paintings prove that nothing stays the same such as in the untitled painting that heads the exhibition. This painting presents the image of a mission-style building that sits on a rural corner in a small village or town. The painting is small, only about 12 inches by 16 inches, but this may have made it easier for the artist to paint outdoors as he was looking at the scene. It is an oil on canvas board. The board would have kept the painting surface still during painting, but oil takes a long time to dry, especially with the thick layers he used to create an impressionist style. The main building in the image, set just to the left of center, is a large, white-stucco building with three tall windows set high up in the wall. There is a tower element visible on the building which makes it clear that the place where the audience is standing is viewing this building from the side. Two dusty dirt roads intersect just in front of the building with one coming along the side of it and the other coming from the bottom right corner of the picture plane. Although it can be imagined that they continue as one road around to the front of the building, it is hard to see any more....
The triangular space in the foreground between the two roads is filled with tall green and yellow grasses and a mostly red small tree. The background behind the buildings is built up with much taller, fuller and greener trees. The sky is mostly full of billowy clouds with bright blue sky visible along the top edge of the painting. The artist seems to be trying to say that Texas is a place of surprising complexity. Although the scene looks peaceful at first, there are elements in the painting that make this peace seem misleading. For example, the windows in the building are set very high up, as if they are on the second floor. That kind of architecture is usually made for defense and this suggests a history for the town that would have required a fort of some kind, but a current peace that allows the fort to be converted to friendlier purposes with the larger windows. There also seems to be a kind of defensiveness in the fence along the back buildings because the fence posts seem somewhat spiky. However, it is a simple rail fence and easily crossed, so it isn't a strong defense. There isn't any traffic in the image - no people are walking around on the street, no one is visible in or around the buildings and there aren't even any animals around. This could indicate a ghost town of sorts in which no one lives here anymore or it could indicate a lazy afternoon when everyone is somewhere else. Another strange combination is the peaceful feeling of an old red barn such as the building seen in the background and the more immediate sense of violence that seems present in the flame-like structure of the small red tree in the foreground. The white billowing clouds in the background seem peaceful enough, but they're very solid and could seem ...Show more
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Summary

The essay discovers Edward Eisenlohr landscapes. For my observation project, I decided to go to a nearby museum, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, because they have a show of Edward Eisenlohr landscapes. This was interesting to me because of the way the show was advertised…
Painting Across the Texas Landscape
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